A recent study has evaluated the effect of depression and anxiety on the response to treatment of rheumatoid arthritis in a group of 379 patients. The study found that in patients with symptoms of depression or anxiety, there was an associated increase in measures of rheumatoid arthritis (including measures of physical disability and disease activity). In addition, there was a 50% reduction in effect of prednisolone treatment in patients who had symptoms of depression or anxiety, when compared with patients who did not exhibit these symptoms. The authors conclude that the presence of depression or anxiety is associated with poor health outcomes and treatment response in patients with rheumatoid arthritis.
Matchan, F, Norton, S, Scott, DL, Steer, S, Hotopf, M. “Symptoms of depression and anxiety predict treatment response and long-term physical health outcomes in rheumatoid arthritis: secondary analysis of a randomized controlled trial” Rheumatology (2015) doi: 10.1093/rheumatology/kev306 First published online: September 8, 2015